Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters

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Penguin, May 3, 2007 - History - 688 pages
2 Reviews
To most , Robert E. Lee is a beloved tragic figure of a bygone war—remembered by history as stoic and brave but without a true emotional life. Recently, however, historian Elizabeth Brown Pryor uncovered important documents that provide a stunning personal account of Lee’s military ability, his beliefs, and his time. Using dozens of previously unpublished letters as departure points, Pryor sheds new light on every aspect of this complex and contradictory general and questions our own understanding of loyalty and patriotism. This tantalizing glimpse of a legendary hero’s guarded soul will astonish and fascinate not only Civil War buffs, but anyone interested in this nation’s history.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ALincolnNut - LibraryThing

By the end of the Civil War, Robert E. Lee had become an iconic American figure, as much myth as mortal even before his death in 1870. Since then, few historians have attempted to dig very deeply into ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lfranco - LibraryThing

One of the best biographies on Lee. It delves into his family life, military career and his views on slavery and secession. Every chapters begins with a letter either written by him or his family and friends. Read full review


Reading the Man
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen
Chapter Twenty
Chapter Twentyone
Chapter Twentytwo
Chapter Twentythree

Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Twentyfour
Chapter Twentyfive
Chapter Twentysix
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (2007)

Elizabeth Brown Pryor is an award-winning historian as well as a senior diplomat in the American Foreign Service. She was most recently a senior advisor on European affairs to the U.S. House and Senate.

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